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tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  April 23, 2013 2:00am-2:30am PDT

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>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. here's what's coming up in today's show. turkey -- the changing role of women. italy -- how the political deadlock is threatening business. and ukraine -- why tanks are the new fast cars. for many, the poisonous element r a cynic is forever connected with famous crime writer agatha christie. she loved to write about treacherous women who killed people by adding are sick to
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their food. that fiction became reality in eastern hungary. in a spectacular murder series, several women kill their husbands with arsenic. they were discovered and sentenced, but today the region is dealing with our sec again, albeit for a completely different reason. >> some 160 men who died of arsenic poisoning live buried in cemeteries. most were killed by their wives in the years following world war i. women known as angel makers got our senate from pesticides, usually from flypaper. the merger international attention. two women were executed and numerous others sentenced to life in prison. today are sick is once again making headlines in the same region. nicolette lives here, but until recently, she had no idea that her drinking water contains
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levels of arsenic which far exceed those considered safe. each leader contains 15 micrograms of the poison -- each liter. >> we did not know there was our sec in the water. i think most people still are not aware of it. to date, nothing has been done about it. we simply have not been informed. >> but thanks to the european union, that might be about to change. at the beginning of this year, it threatened hungary with sanctions after issuing warnings about the poor water quality in the region for over a decade. now with the help of the national army, filtration systems are quickly being assembled in this factory building. they are to provide the worst- affected villages with cleaner water. >> we have the situation completely under control. the government has contracted to
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produce these systems. they put 19 million euros at our disposal. by the middle of the year, we will be setting up 200 such containers in the affected villages. >> in the long run, the communities could eliminate the need for filtration systems by digging deeper wells, but many lack the money. this whole town hopes that something will change soon. the mayor is waiting for the promised filtration system. it is to be set up here in the courtyard of a local psychiatric hospital. residents and the hospital cafeteria could then finally have access to clean water until a long-term solution is found. >> when you -- we are near the
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romanian border. the water over there is clean. with armenian neighbors, we have developed a potable water project. it just needs to be signed off by the two governments. but for more than a year now, nothing has happened. >> but at the ministry responsible for environment and water, they see things differently. and the the previous two socialist governments did not find a solution and left the local governments in the lurch. the pressure being exerted by the eu to change the situation right away costs us extra money. as far as the hungarian-romanian project is concerned, we are open to it, but the rumanian side has yet to sign the necessary permits. >> this pediatrician cannot believe that the cleanups keep being delayed across the entire region.
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he says the effects of arsenic in drinking water are significant. >> small children and pregnant women are most affected. arson it can lead to miscarriages. it can cause skin cancer as well. statistically speaking, we cannot ascertain just how widespread these illnesses are in the affected regions. they are very poor areas in which there could be many reasons for such illnesses. >> but an awestruck german company shows how simple a quick fix could be -- it has donated these water filters to local day care centers. >> we have worked together with the hungarian red cross, which is how the donation came to be made. it is very simple -- within two minutes, you have clean water. >> it is just a drop in the
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bucket, but one that they would be happy for. there is no filtration system at all here. residents are exposed to the dangers are sec everywhere, 12 years after the hungarian government promised the eu it would solve the problem -- residents are exposed to the dangerous are sick everywhere. nicolette cannot understand why nothing is being done. >> i do not know why drinking water is only becoming an issue now. the problem has been around for years, but no one did anything about it. the public authorities should have done something about it long ago. >> cleaning up the arsenic problem is expected to cost around 1 billion euros. hungry must pay 1/3 of that with the you footing the rest of the bill. the government says the cleanup could take two years. until then, every drop of arsenic in the water is a reminder of the angel makers and their sinister legacy.
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>> how can more women get better jobs? the eu's commissioner in charge wants to introduce a women's quota. she wants company boards to be made up of 40% of women, but many states including germany oppose this. in fact, some countries still encourage the traditional family model where one person goes to work and the wife stays at home. that is also true for many of the e u's neighboring countries. take turkey for instance. in big cities like istanbul or agra, many women actively pursue their professional careers, but in the rural areas, they mostly lead conventional lives and are financially dependent on their husbands, but there are signs of change, like on the turkish coast where some women are earning their first money at the
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age of 40-plus. >> most people throw away packaging and rappers without thinking. she turns them into works of art, but for these women, their activity means more than that. >> i do my housework and make these bags at the same time. this work gives us self- confidence and our first phone income. >> fatma mary when she was 13 and had her first child when she was 14. she had no use or time for herself. reha married, too. her oldest ones to attend university, and she wants to enjoy a break from the family routine. >> i have been working for four years. now i can do something that supports the children and it is fun as well. >> she enjoys going to work and
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getting the material. she meets kindred spirits and can talk with them about things that she cannot speak about at home. we are in a conservative town on the aegean coast. today, turks live here, but the buildings testified that this was once a greek community. the church was converted into a mosque and a minaret was added. thousands of tourists flood the idyllic beach town in the summer. at first glance, it seems modern, but a closer look reveals the archaic patriarchal structures. only men sit in the cafes. many women do not even dare go near them. the men have jobs, earn money, and rule the roost. many of them beat their wives. after all, that is what their
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fathers did with their mothers. when she joins her colleagues, she likes being among friends. one of them is the american, tara hopkins who five years ago founded a company. when she came here to take some time off, she saw the plight of the women and wanted to help. >> very few women here have their own jobs, so i thought i should change that. i am is stubborn person, so i began to do that here. >> terror had worked at a university in istanbul and for aid organizations, but then she wanted to help directly. she had experienced the most turkish women are good and handicrafts, so she helped them use their talent to earn their own money, thereby increasing their self-confidence. she has come to pick up her 153 lira, the equivalent of about 73 euros. her colleagues are surprised to see her talking to us.
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she is considered shy. >> it is nice to be paid for your work. i am very thankful. >> some of the women have been mentally and physically abused by their husbands, but they do not want to talk about that in public. even having women wearing jeans would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but things are slowly beginning to change. >> i graduated from high school in 1978, and i would have gotten a good job, but my father forbade me to work. when i got married, my husband also said i did not have to work. at first he did not allow me, but then i started working here four years ago, and i am very content. >> many of the women have a hard struggle behind them. first, they had to persuade their husbands that turning
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garbage into beautiful objects is honest work. some of the men are now proud that their wives work here. but tara tells us that one husband immediately stopped giving his wife her pocket money. rehan was lucky. her husband supports the decision to work and even pitches and. for her, a day with the other women is not only work but also a break from the family routine. >> i really like working with the women. the time flies. and it is nice to produce something together with my friends and eating lunch together is a ritual. the men in the cafe next door used to smile patronizing the at them, but now, they accept the work, though not all of them
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think it is good. emancipation has not arrived in all parts of turkey. tara hopkins originally came to recover from burnout, but inactivity is not her forte. she struggled for the turkish women and the project. she has become the women's friend, and they come to her with their worries. and she likes that, although it is often a burden. >> to be over 40 years old, and maybe 50 years old and to have never earned money in your life and the first time have money placed in your hand for your efforts -- i'm not being funny, it still makes me cry. they are very proud. i am humble that they are very proud of themselves.
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>> that is what makes it all worthwhile. when she sees boutiques in istanbul selling the bags that they make, she is truly happy. >> seven weeks after the elections in italy, there is still no government. the political deadlock is having a disastrous impact on the economy, already weighed down by the debt crisis. last year, thousands of companies went bankrupt, and in some cases, the state was directly responsible. it still owes private businesses billions of euros. now, the acting prime minister has promised that some of the debts will be paid, but for some, it may be too late. >> these days, oswaldo rarely leaves his home. many local stores have had to close and are a painful reminder of his own plight.
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in january, he received a letter from the company he worked for, telling him it had filed for bankruptcy. since then, he has been working part time and therefore earning less. >> i earned 600 euros a month, and i paid 400 euros a month back, and course, i have other overhead costs, too. and now he is earning half of what he used to, despite having worked for the company for years, but he does not blame his employer. >> the company was founded 117 years ago. a company like that cannot just go bankrupt. i still think there must be a glimmer of hope. >> this company based in bologna is a leading manufacturer of orthopedics. founded in 1896, the company mainly supplies public institutions like hospitals. but many of its customers have stopped paying.
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at the moment, the state owes 15 million euros. it is a fate shared by companies across italy. the state's debts towards firms reportedly amount to 19 billion euros. giuliani has been in charge of production here for years. he is furious at the government. >> almost all our income comes from state institutions. our prices are regulated. they have not increased since 1999, but material costs are rising. and then there are taxes. there's nothing wrong with paying taxes, but not such high rates. the combination of all these factors spells the end for our company. >> the liquidation auction is scheduled for april 23. either it finds an investor or
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employees will have to be let go. alessandro, who is in charge of finances, also blames the government. >> the biggest problem is that the state is always so late in paying. sometimes it does not pay for up to one, four, or even six years. the state currently owes us about 6 million euros. >> until recently, companies could keep their head above water with short-term loans, but that is no longer an option. >> with the financial crisis and recession, banks have reduced their lending to private companies. the financial difficulty we found ourselves in meant we could no longer pay suppliers. our debts mounted daily. >> they now owe suppliers 1 million euros. many major companies in italy
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are in the same boat. this chain of debt has potentially fatal consequences for medium and small-sized businesses. last year, some 365,000 of them had to close down. they were pinning hopes on a pledge made by outgoing prime minister mario monti to pay off at least half the state's debts to private companies, but it could be too late. oswaldo is equally disappointed by the country's politicians. he did not even bother voting in the march elections. >> i was really mad when the elections were held. our politicians need to do more to help us, and their first priority should be helping families and securing jobs. >> the inconclusive election has left the country in political limbo.
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they're disgusted by political chaos. he does not expect any new government to come to the rescue of people like him. >> if you are a person who cares for the environment and who tries to save resources wherever possible, i'm not sure you will like what we have for you now. in ukraine, rich men have discovered a new hobby -- they buy themselves not a fast car -- they buy a tank. these vehicles use up to 17 liters of diesel just start out. >> nothing and no one can stop him. not much, not ditches, not a river or lake, and certainly no neighbor. he plays war with his own tank, an amphibious vehicle designed to transport 11 soldiers. he does it for the thrill. >> adrenaline -- it makes you
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feel strong. it makes you feel invulnerable. >> he wants to demonstrate power and wealth. for him, driving the tank is the embodiment of manliness. >> every true man has it in his blood. we love weapons and shooting and fighting. i don't know any man whose heart does not beat faster. >> this journalist confirms that driving a tank is a trend among wealthy ukrainians. >> for two or three years, more and more rich people have been buying tanks. it is a fad. they want to impress acquaintances and neighbors. a >> ruslan and his older brother are not rare oddballs,
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just extreme adherents of the new tank cult. when he was 18, he drove a tank in the soviet war in afghanistan. he was wounded twice, once severely. fragments of a hand grenade are still a reminder of that time. nevertheless or perhaps precisely because of it, he is still fascinated by tanks. >> it is better to play war than to actually be in war. in real war, that surrounds you at every moment, and you hope the tank can save your life. >> they have a company that leases tourist buses all over europe. it has rate -- made them rich members of their countries in the period in the last two years, they've spent 300,000 euros on military equipment. they have a whole tank multiple in the courtyard, including some rarities'.
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>> this vehicle transporting nuclear weapons. it is considered secret technology in every country but ukraine. >> there are only eight of these in the whole world. it is the first weald tank the soviet army built after the war. >> according to the united nations, almost 80% of the ukrainian population lives below the poverty line. 16% are considered undernourished. the gap between rich and poor is greater here than in almost any other european country. in just a few minutes a field, the brothers shoot off munitions worth more than many ukrainian doctors earn in a month. 200 euros worth of noise just for fun. >> whoever works has money. whoever does not work has no money. i do not believe people who say they cannot afford bread. >> the brothers say it is easy and cheap for them to acquire military equipment.
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an exclusive vehicle costs 10,000 euros. simpler models are even cheaper. >> the dealers do not publicly revealed their channels, but privately, they say they have good contacts with the military, and they emphasize that their sales of tanks are legal, mustered out and fixed up, repaired, painted, outfitted with leather seats. >> there is no technical control board, so no one knows exactly how many tanks are on the road between kiev and edessa, but they are noticed, including by the police. wheeled tanks are classified as tractors, but everything with caterpillar tracks is officially banned from the road. >> we have to show our papers and prove that the tank really belongs to us and that we have the proper driver's license. they checked everything, and then they shrug their shoulders and let us pass.
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>> the brothers drive their tanks on country roads and expressways are like. the more traffic, the better. the tank's restricted field of view is no problem. >> it is not dangerous for me. i'm sitting in a tank protected. the other guy has to get out of my way. they do not need a broad field of vision. >> that might seem like an imposition on the neighbors, but they do not think so. >> we do not make a big deal of it. we are proud the brothers have made our little village well known. family are used to it. a vehicle is a vehicle. >> and to protect us. it is good. all foreigners should realize that tanks tried here and we shoot. >> they not only get attention but also respect.
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>> why do other people buy an expensive car? so that everyone points to them in admiration. it is the same with us. >> the tank as a status symbol and proof of manliness -- a must for real men in the world of ukraine goes the wealthy and super wealthy. when people have had enough of tanks, what will be next? >> that report brings us to the end of this edition of "european journal." from all of us here in brussels, thanks very much for watching. join us at the same time next week if you can. until then, auf wiedersehen and bye for now. captioned by the national captioning institute
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